National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express announced on November 10, 2011, that Historic Pilot Knob will receive a Partners in Preservation grant for $75,000 to help restore the natural landscape of the hill. The money will be used to remove utility poles and powerlines that bisect the site. This restoration work will be managed by the City of Mendota Heights, which maintains the land as a public open space site.
It is not anticipated that any of the original soil of Oheyawahi will be disturbed. Utility poles and lines that brought electricity to houses formerly on the hill will be removed. Lines that feed the lights on state Highway 55 will be buried 2-3 feet deep under the road that was once paved and is now vacated. The lines will be laid in aggregate material brought in when the road was constructed, and will run parallel to the water main under the old road bed. Removal of the power lines will be done in 2012.
Twenty-five historic sites in the Twin Cities metro area competed for a portion of the $1,000,000 grant from American Express. A voting competition was held on Facebook for three weeks earlier this fall. In addition to the voting results, an advisory panel of civic leaders and preservationists considered a site’s needs and role in its community. Twelve other historic sites received significant funding for restoration.